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| Updated on October 31, 2018

Millennial designers are embracing fun and form

Coconuts and reed baskets greeted us at the opening show of the Lotus Makeup India Fashion Week (LMIFW). A live band screaming beach vibes tried to make us forget this was a relatively hot Delhi afternoon . The setting was for the benefit of Péro’s latest collection, full of ginghams and tartans, as well as inspired by everything underwater. Many designers have been working on upcycling —or creative reuse—and Péro,withanewcollection,has takenup the challenge and made it fun for all. The show was called Finding Péro, and the underwater theme appeared as a motif everywhere — in the turquoise blue wavy drapes wornbymanymodels, jeanjackets andlapelpins shaped like fishing rods with little cloth fishes stuck to them. Other shows celebrated gloss and sparkle. Wedding wear is the bread-and-butter of Indian designers. Travelis another reasonfor Indians tohithigh-fashion stores, as was evident at the fashion week which opened on October 10. Brands such as Shivan and Narresh, designers who make beach and resort wear, are focussed on travel. Their journeys across the globe during the last six months have inspired the Koi Series, according to the designer duo. They listthe themes that have made their way into their clothes. “Turkish spice markets have added to the colour scheme, Seville’s flamenco artists have lent them their frilled and ruffled silhouettes, Tel Aviv has provided fine cultural elements, Mykonos and Pondicherry are represented in the Koi Series,” said Shivan Bhatiya, head designer. The Koi collection draws on the motifs and tones of Gond tribal art. Anupamaa Dayal’s vibrant kaftans and structured pantsuits took the the visual of a starfish and interpreted it in multiple ways, as the amphibian as well as a motif representing regeneration. The Samant Chauhan collection was inspired by Mumbai’s landscape of the past and the present. Aartivijay Gupta presented printed silks in earthy colours inspired by mud murals in Rajasthan. Rahul Singhused malkha cottons and silks from the villages of Chanderi for his diaphanous clothes. Tribes of the world Tribal themes from around the world influenced many collections. The Australian High Commission collaborated with India’s Ministry of Textiles for an Indo-Australian Project with five Aussie designers through Artisans of Fashion. The project is a part of an agreement between the two governments for creative collaborations in culture and textile industries. Caroline Poiner, the founder of Artisans of Fashion, a social enterprise that promotes sustainable fashion and handloom traditions by Indian artisans, was engaged by the Australian High Commission to curate the collections and the event. The Sanjukta Dutta collection traced the diversity and history of the elegant Assamese wrap, the mekhala chador. The collection also includes structured sarees, flowing gowns, drape skirts and Indo-western lehengas. Architha Narayanam’s collection was influenced by the traditional wear of the Iranian Qashqai and other Central European tribes and included their typical embroideries. The collection is modern, a re-invention of the traditional dress, while retaining elements such as the cross stitch embroidery, dots and distinct array of colours.

All things boho

Bohemian vibes swept through the last episode of the fashion week, meantto celebrate the landmark 377 judgement, with a rainbow-themed show in which 21 designers took part. Inclusivity was the recurring theme this year — focusing on weight, imperfections, skin colour and gender identity. Some of the designers included Abhishek Gupta, Abraham & Thakore, Alpana Neeraj, AM:PM, Amit Aggarwal, Anavila, Ashish N Soni, Atsu, Dev R Nil, Dhruv Kapoor, Gaurav Gupta, Huemn, Shivan & Narresh, Siddartha Tytler, Suneet Varma, Varun Bahl, Vineet Bahl, Vivek Karunakaran and Wendell Rodricks. Manish Malhotra’s psychedelic ensembles for the show were refreshingly different from his regular creations. Overall, the fashion week, which ended on October 13, moved away from structured, staccato ensembles meant to be worn in a formal setting to embrace a more casual, relaxed vibe, holding hands with cultures around the world. Fashion movements such as athleisure have changed the direction of fashion design, with both designers and customers appreciating function over form. Whether it be the anti-brand movement (a global cultural movement against brands and branding that has also affected the fashion industry) or the normcore movement(where people prefer being dressed down with the purpose of not standing out), fashion is increasingly moving towards a quieter, sustainable realm, without the unnecessary pomp and show that it is usually associated with, and embracing a carnivalesque feel. Fashion is more boho today than ever, as the current crop of designers showcasing at the Lotus Makeup India Fashion Week demonstrated for the audience.

Published on October 31, 2018

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